Osipova in premiere as Isadora Duncan at Segerstrom

Dance
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How will the California-born Isadora Duncan be remembered 50 years from now? As the woman whose barefoot, Greek-vase inspired abandon birthed the modern dance movement? Or for her shocking, free-love lifestyle in Europe and Russia and early tragic death – decapitated by scarf while riding in a Bugatti sports car? To the uninitiated, and by ...

‘Bolshoi Ballet Summer Series’ leads off with Polunin/Zakharova ‘Giselle’

Dance · Film
‘Bolshoi Ballet Summer Series’, coming to movie theaters nationwide soon presents Ballet’s ‘Big-Three’ full-evening classical works on subsequent Mondays in July. The series, presented by Fathom Events, includes July 9, Giselle, cast, Svetlana Zakharova, Sergei Polunin July 16, Romeo and Juliet July 23, Swan Lake All performances were captured live from the Bolshoi Theatre stage ...

A Giselle for the 21st Century

Dance · Fashion
Seen above, the tragic-heroine, “Giselle,” in a contemporary re-make of a woman’s story dating from the 19th century and transferred (rightfully in the 21st century) to the choreographic reins of a woman. The role is delivered with great pathos by the work’s creator/lead dancer Dada Masilo in her “Giselle” on view this weekend at The ...

From South Africa, Dada Masilo’s re-envisioned ‘Giselle’ @ The Wallis

Dance
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She’s messed with Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, and Carmen. Now comes Giselle. ‘Messed with’ is perhaps a strong term, but South Africa’s Dada Masilo is among a small group of choreographers – notably Matthew Bourne, Akram Khan, Boris Eifman and Mats Ek – with the guts to turn a hallowed narrative ballet into something ...

Ballet magic. Misty Copeland, Roberto Bolle open for La Scala @ Segerstrom

Dance
Our friends at Segerstrom Center for the Arts have a rare selling-out situation in their beautiful Costa Mesa arts campus this weekend. Tonight, and continuing through the weekend, the La Scala Ballet opens a weekend run of “Giselle.” Dancing the leading roles of Giselle and Albrecht are the hot hot hot pairing of Misty Copeland ...

Populist Eifman Ballet en route to Southern California

Dance
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Choreographer Boris Eifman is the Donald Trump of the ballet world. His fans love him for his provocative, populist appeal while his critics find him unsophisticated and far from coherent. And then there’s the Russia thing. Eifman is Russian and his narrative ballets, while modernist in story line, have the old-school Bolshoi tendency to go ...

Stella Abrera, ABT’s proud Firebird, soon in flight at the Chandler 2

Dance
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She’s a woman of color in a white ballerina world. She began her training in Southern California, joined American Ballet Theatre, had a serious injury, recovered and was promoted to principal in 2015. Misty Copeland, right? No, it’s Stella Abrera. A Filipina American, her career trajectory is similar to Copeland’s but without all the hoopla. ...

Gillian Murphy’s historic footing in “Giselle”

Dance
“Giselle” is arguably the greatest solo role for a ballerina in the classical canon. One proof point is that unlike “Swan Lake,” the ballet is named for a woman, not a bird or a lake! “Giselle” tells the story, over a full-evening performance, of a simple peasant girl smitten, then devastated, by love. She uses ...

What makes a balletomane? A lean.

Dance
If when peering at this Andrea Mohin photo for the New York Times … ~your heart picks up pace, ~ it messes you up, ~ you “get it,” ~ you feel deep joy … seeing the way that David Hallberg is leaning away from his “Giselle” partner, Natasha Osipova, well then … mazel tov, you’re ...

The dignity of ballerina Natalia Makarova 7

Dance · Film
I was struck by a passage in Natalia Makarova‘s biography, “A Dance Autobiography,” (Knopf, 1979) edited by Robert Gottlieb (“What did ballet ever do to deserve this?”) when he was editor-in-chief at the New York publishing house. The text recalls an indignity Makarova suffered at the Kirov Ballet soon before she defected to the West ...